Monday, December 10, 2007

BBDSM for Beginners (part 1: published resources)

First published on Mistress160's Abode: 17 January 2007

Am I submissive / dominant / a switch / a fetishist?
Why do I feel these desires? Was I abused as a child?
How can I act on them safely?
How do I move from fantasy to online?
Where can I meet like minded people online and in real time?
How can I tell my non D/s partner that I'm kinky?
Will they still respect / love me?
How can I get my partner to Dom/me me?
How can I tell them what I need?
How exactly do I want them involved?
What are the best books for a new kinky couple to read?
Whats a good place for new kinksters to buy toys online? What toys?
Where can I meet other female subs
(many BDSM sites don't seem to want me)?
What's the difference between a slave and a sub?
How do I meet the Dom/me of my dreams? And contact them?

These are questions that many of us have faced, and that I encounter regularly during my work with newcomers to the kinky community - or with subs with vanilla partners, many of whom are trying hard to come to terms with their lover's needs. Many of my own subs have been drawn to me because of my interest and encouragement of these areas, and I also often respond to online requests for help. Every individual's - every couple's - journey into BDSM is unique and challenging, my role sometimes becoming more confidante than Mistress - and it's an honor to help in any way I can.

While usually providing individualized resource lists for each person / couple I often receive requests for quick fixes - "can you recommend just one book that we should buy?" or "could you recommend just a couple of sites for female subs?" - so after several requests that I include some on my blog, here are a few of those "emergency fixes".

I must stress though: never take any single site or persons advice as a complete and final source of information. Everyone has different perspectives and experiences and what I have provided here is highly eclectic.

This BDSM For Beginner's post will focus on published resources. Part 2 will explore online resources. Questions are in no particular order - a later post will address questions above which have not been addressed in these two entries. If anyone would like a particular question answered please drop me a line.


Okay, you have finally plucked up your courage and sat down on the couch with the love of your life to explain all those weird chastity devices and your longtime foot fetish , and your mouth goes dry ... panic: what to do????

Get someone else to do it for you, of course - and
When Someone You Love Is Kinky is written with your situation in mind!

With its careful title, subtle front cover imagery and calm and understandable writing style (which includes chapters dealing with how a non kinky person might be feeling after finding those chastity devices) this book is designed so that you can literally just hand it to your partner or relative:
"I read Ms160's beginners post and gave a copy of the book to my partner. She found it non threatening, and read it over the next week. I was on tenterhooks but Ms160 had advised me to be patient. She also said that if my wife seemed approachable afterwards, to not overload her with every kinky desire I'd ever had, and this proved great advice, as otherwise I would have frightened my partner off.

"I'd really recommend the book. It made a real difference for me"
When someone you love... covers the basics and stresses consensuality but by its very nature i'ts purpose is to be general not definitive. So whilst it's a perfect book to share with your lover or close friend, it's not the best example for a newbie kinky couple who are looking for practical information and preferably lots of it.


I HATE answering this, lol, but if I must....

I cannot recommend Midori's Wild Side Sex: the Book of Kink highly enough. As Richard Evans Lee notes in his 2006 review, it covers:
"the psychology, aesthetics and philosophy of erotic power exchange, D/s and SM. Written with wit, imagination and intelligence. For someone new to BDSM it may help with self-acceptance and confidence. For all levels it may enhance your own understanding of what it is that we do"

Alexia O'Neil writes in Eros (p90):
"The first lines in her book Wild Side Sex give you a fairly good idea of the topics she'll cover: "I love sex. I Love to do it. I love to talk about it. I love to think about it and I love to write about it." This could not be a clearer statement of Midori's acceptance of herself, her fetishes, her sexuality, and where her talents lie. The book is touted as Educational, Sensual and Entertaining Essays ... "

"Midori has broken the book into several different focus points for both the seasoned sexual adventurer and the novice ... Part 1: Fundamentals of Kink and Part 2: Fundamentals of Kink II deal with "the psychological foundations of consensual erotic sadomasochism, dominance, and submission." Part 3: Fetish Eroticism is "dedicated to fetishism and the mind of the fetishist."

"Part 4: Tips & Trips for Adventurous Sex is "a collection of short little how-to's on specific fun kinky sex techniques." I believe some sections, such as Midori's essay "Aftercare: healing better to play harder", should be compulsory reading for all. As Midori points out, the subject may not be as sexy as double handed flogging - "we treat it like we do flossing our teeth" - however, "the reality is that the presence or absence of aftercare, and its timing, quality and sincerity ... can make the difference between a fantastic scene and a miserable experience".
Buy it! As Vashti concludes in his 2006 review: "It feeds your mind, your imagination, your soul, and is also educational. Midori is a treasure".


Recommending only one is not possible here - you need a mix of practical advice and psychology. Midori's Wild Side Sex is a good start. As is Philip Miller and Molly Devon's Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns, an excellent resource thats an enormous lot of fun.

The insightful authors of Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns have a great sense of humour but as one reviewer points out "what makes [the book] truly special, however, is the sheer weight of loving details. There's clear explanations and detailed tutorials for beginners, as general as "safe, sane, and consensual" and as specific as "you will be swinging the whip with your arm pivoting at the shoulder." There's also solid advice, safety measures, steamy suggestions, plenty of black-and-white photographs, useful and humorous drawings, an extensive glossary". It's written primarily from the point of view of male dominant/female submissive interactions, but it's easy to translate into valuable advice for any relationship configuration.

Those in the know describe Jay Wiseman's SM101 as the ultimate technical manual, a "non-titillating , realistic guide to SM play". Wiseman is an experienced SM player and BDSM educator whose wealth of experience has produced a book popular with both newbies and longer players. A`technical manual' is not a bad description, with its chapters explaining SM terminology, the mechanics of `erotic pain', bondage, flagellation, erotic torture and humiliation, as well as chapters on SM organizations, SM relationships and how to construct specialized types of scenes. As several reviewers have noted the book is essential for anyone wanting to make the move to BDSM playing real time, with detailed iinformation on the public BDSM scene, terminology and basic safety rules. I love the quirky quotes on each page ("a pervert is someone kinkier than you are" .... "begging is not a safe word") which add a sense of realism.

One of my favourite books and excellent for newbies is Pat Califa's Sensuous Magic, first published in 1993. It could certainly be described as a basic introduction to BDSM play, but its not a hands on "how to" guide. Rather it examines the psychology and spirituality of BDSM play. Califia's erotic short story collections send me literally weak as the knees - you can glimpse that talent in the short stories that the author utilizes to begin the book and whet the imagination.

Califia then sets out to illustrate important elements of BDSM play - communication and negotiation; the techniques and psychology of bondage; sensation and experimentation; corporal punishment; and the use of vanilla sex in a SM context. Finally the book contains a reading list and resource list (updated in the most recent edition) as well as a glossary and section on contracts. Its all very important stuff and the fact that so much is covered by such s small book simply highlights the author's expertise.

Many BDSM books suggest newbies fill out a checklist that helps identify their BDSM interests. Originally designed for submissives checklist should really be done by all -its especially important for couples planning to play together. The link I've provided is to the original list on BDSM Education.


Again, whether a book is going to work in arousing D/s interest depends entirely on the individuals and personalities involved. That said, there have been several quite good books published, of which I mostly recommend Mistress Lorelei's The Mistress Manual: the good girl's guide to female domination and Lady Green's The Sexually Dominant Woman: a workbook for nervous beginners. One of these would be perfect for your wife.

The Mistress Manual is just that: a slim volume that lists all the things a potential Mistress might need. Its first section ("Becoming a Mistress") includes chapters on "Why become a Mistress?" and "The reluctant Mistress: learning to love command", while the second ("The Mistress in action") explores "Establishing your authority: ways to make him obey", "The Art of Discipline: advice, techniques and Implements" and "The Skills of a Mistress: bondage, humiliation and other forms of control". The third section discusses archetypal fantasies while the appendices include a glossary and "10 Rules for A Successful Mistress" (of which the first is "Control the orgasm and you control the male".

Mistress Lorelei's writing style is precise and clear, and my husband solipsist and I recommend this more than any other book for women looking for "just one" book that might unlock the key to either their own desires or those of their partner. If you really can only buy one but THIS one ... but if you can afford two:

An reviewer wrote of Lady Green's The Sexually Dominant Woman: a workbook for nervous beginners "as a book for beginners it is wonderful! I recommend it to anyone who is trying to interest their wife to BDSM. Very non-threatening explanations of BDSM. Lets her know you [are] not a perverted child molester just because you might like a spanking.

It explains why you might like this, and gives her several reasons why she would like this as well .... this one is less a how-to book, and more a why-do explanation". Which makes it a friendly and non-threatening starting point for the woman who fantasizes about BDSM, or is interested in exploring her husband's submissive desires...


For further publications relating to the questions addressed above, check out the following lists - they will greatly add to your understanding and enjoyment of BDSM:

Many thanks to:
the various reviewers whose writings
I have snaffled from, and to Eros

Top photo:
provenance unknown - any details greatly appreciated

of Midori by Steve Diet Goedde
taken from
Wide Side Sex review by Alexia O'Neil 30 August 2005
Steve Diet Goedde's DVD is available from his website.

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